For our combined recipe for the month of March, we thought it best to do a traditional peasant stew or soup of each of our heritages that showcase beans as a protein!
Corelyn has been wanting to make cassoulet for some time now, so she jumped at the chance to make this slow-cooked French peasant stew, which typically includes cannellini beans and pork or duck. Check out her thoughts on cassoulet here. I always seem to be searching for an opportunity to make Escarole and Beans. This Italian soup has – you guessed it! – escarole and beans in it. It doesn’t contain any meat, but is typically made with chicken broth.
Escarole and Beans is something my mom used to make, and so when working on this challenge I was extremely excited to try it. I’ve made it once before in California, but it was a smashing disaster, and have stayed away ever since. To make matters worse, escarole (a type of leafy green related to endive) isn’t always readily available.
So here’s what you do for this recipe, which you can easily modify to use endive or kale.
Take your escarole and soak it.
Chop half an onion, some garlic, and some tomatoes.
Meanwhile, spin dry your escarole. Doesn’t it look beautiful?
So now you’re ready to start cooking. Take some olive oil and your garlic and put it in your heated Dutch Oven. Melt/die a little, because your kitchen now smells like the most wonderful thing you’ve ever smelled in your whole life.
Then add your onion. Let it sweat for a few minutes.
Now you’re going to add about six to eight cups of broth, depending on how brothy you want your soup. I used eight. It also depends on how big your head of escarole is, so I’d go with your gut on this one…I used vegetable broth because Becca was over and I didn’t want to lie to her/break her vegetarianism by making her eat chicken broth. Well…I did want to do those things, but I didn’t.
We also used low sodium so we could control how salty the soup ended up.
Because we all know what happens when it comes to Becca and salt and soup….
But never mind that. Back to this delicious dish. Add your escarole at this point. I just ripped it up with my hands, so it was in semi-bite sized pieces. Do what you feel.
Now you can add some herbs. I used parsley, and you can use whatever you enjoy! Sensing a theme?
You can add your beans here, too. I used a can of cannellini beans, but you can use two cans or however many you want. Basically, this is a chose-your-own-adventure type of soup.
Now, you’re going to add those tomatoes you chopped earlier.
Now we’re ready for a good ole simmer. Give it about 15 minutes, as you don’t want to lose the flavor of the escarole, but you want the beans and tomato to heat!
There you have it — a delicious bowl of escarole and beans, with some parmesan cheese to set it off! This will last you a few cold notes, and is great with some garlic bread, which is exactly how Becca and I enjoyed it.